Buyers Meeting Point procurement by Kelly Barner

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"The Point" is written by BMP Editor Kelly Barner as well as a diverse group of guest contributors.

Recommended Procurement Webinars for March 27 - 31: RPA, Millennials, Annual NLPA Salary Survey

Recommended Procurement Webinars for March 27 - 31: RPA, Millennials, Annual NLPA Salary Survey

This is a busy week - 13 webinars in 3 days – with webinars covering a wide range of topics. If the events below don’t match your interests, check our calendar for webinars on warehousing, analysis, DPO, and Pharmacy. Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register.

BTW: If you haven’t already, sign up for our mailing list to be sure you get my weekly recommendations in your Inbox each Monday.

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Making an Informed Decision about Contingent Workforce Management Advice

Making an Informed Decision about Contingent Workforce Management Advice

Non-employee talent is getting more and more attention in the executive suite, as contractors, freelancers, and other knowledge-based contingent workers become increasingly important in achieving company goals. However, when management attempts to align its current contingent labor management program with corporate objectives, many companies find they are unable to answer the most basic questions about the effectiveness of their current practices.

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Recommended Procurement Webinars Nov 28 – Dec 2: Beyond Savings and Under Par

Recommended Procurement Webinars Nov 28 – Dec 2: Beyond Savings and Under Par

Welcome back from the US Thanksgiving holiday! With 5 weeks left in the calendar year (3 effective working weeks) the time to get in your professional development time is now! Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

** BONUS: Mark your calendars and join me for a live Twitter #Instaschat discussion December 1st at 1pm ET!

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Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 24-28

Our Recommended Procurement Webinars for October 24-28

In addition to the webinars I’ve recommended below, ProcureCon Pharma is running in Philadelphia from Wednesday through Friday. If you’re going, be sure to stop by and say hello to our friends SAP Ariba, Source One, and tealbook! Click on the title of each webinar below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

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2016 Nobel Prize for Economics Goes to: Contract Theory

2016 Nobel Prize for Economics Goes to: Contract Theory

I live in the Boston area, so when the 2016 Nobel Prize for Economics was awarded to Dr. Bengt Holmstrom, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Dr. Oliver Hart, a professor at Harvard, it made a considerable splash in the local news. I love economics in action, so I started reading more - but I never expected to find contracts as the center of their work.

Each of the newly selected Nobel laureates has a different area of focus, but both are relevant to procurement and supply chain professionals.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/12 - 16

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 9/12 - 16

After a drought last week, webinars are back with a vengeance! There are 9 this week and 12 already scheduled for next week. Having so many events to choose from doesn’t necessarily make it easy to pick just a few to recommend, but it does ensure that if you make the time you will learn something new. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description and register or visit the BMP events calendar to see what’s on tap for the rest of the month.

 

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Nearshoring: Why Now? - Warnings

Nearshoring: Why Now? - Warnings

As we covered in Nearshoring: Why Now?, outsourcing production operations to Mexico (or nearshoring) offers a number of tangible and intangible benefits over traditional “low-cost” country sourcing. Take China as a prime example: with labor rates in China, on average, exceeding those in Mexico since approximately 2013 and holding an advantage in productivity per worker, Mexico is increasingly becoming a hub for U.S.-based companies looking to transplant their supply chain operations. In moving operations closer to home, many companies are either fully or partially outsourcing manufacturing to suppliers in Mexico and in some cases, even placing full production facilities in that country. Sourcing suppliers in Mexico, however, is not without its obstacles: challenges that can quickly halt nearshoring operations for unprepared companies.

 

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Nearshoring: Why now?

Nearshoring: Why now?

When you think of outsourcing manufacturing operations, what country do you typically think of? China? Vietnam? Philippines? Yes, Asia is typically the go-to region for companies looking to cut costs by outsourcing production processes - and for good reason. Asia possesses both the labor and raw material resources to make the region an effective substitute to higher cost labor in the U.S. and the limited availability of certain raw materials in North America.

While outsourcing to low-cost countries such as China has its benefits (i.e. labor/overhead costs, raw material costs, scalability, freeing up the business’ time to focus on other critical functions, etc.) it comes with challenges as well. Lead times, language barriers, time zone differences, IP integrity, and a general lack of physical presence make outsourcing certain functions a constant struggle for US-based manufacturers and can outweigh the initial savings gained over the long-term. Companies oftentimes look at the price-tag of outsourcing functions such as IT support or manufacturing assembly work, figuring the decision is obvious. However, to minimize risk and to optimize/streamline domestic manufacturing operations it is important to weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing, especially in deciding which low-cost region to outsource to, which processes to outsource, and which partner(s) to use.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 5/30 – 6/3

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 5/30 – 6/3

Even with the holiday Monday in the U.S. this week, there are still a couple of events worth catching. In fact, one is a ‘don’t miss’ webinar. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 5/16 - 20

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 5/16 - 20

In addition to the events below, Jon Hansen and I are presenting an IACCM webinar on Thursday on an unconventional topic: Picture of Dorian Gray, Procurement Pro. Hopefully you can join us! As to my other recommendations, click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 2/1 - 5

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 2/1 - 5

We kick off the month of February with a strong, diverse week of webinars. The three that I have chosen to recommend have their finger on the pulse of procurement: 3rd party risk, the future of procurement, and BPO. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

 

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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 12/7-11: Procurement Outsourcing and IT Collaboration

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 12/7-11: Procurement Outsourcing and IT Collaboration

The year may be winding down, but the webinar calendar is still going strong. There are quite a few events left in the year – this week included. I’m recommending two of the webinars scheduled for this week. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Should Procurement Fear or Embrace Procurement-as-a-Service?

Should Procurement Fear or Embrace Procurement-as-a-Service?

I recently had the opportunity to interview Phillip Ideson, the founder of ProcureChange, a new Procurement-as-a-Service (PaaS) provider. You can listen to the entire interview on BMP Radio.

My first reaction to PaaS – one that I think is quite natural – is concern about what it will mean for today’s procurement practitioners if it catches on. Will we be outsourced the same way we have outsourced so many other formerly in-house capabilities?

As it turns out, however, the news is better than I expected. PaaS, far from being a threat to procurement, may be one way for us to achieve the strategic status we crave.

Recent Comments
Guest — Alun@marketdojo
We have many partners who have embraced our methodology in SaaS (Software as a Service) for eSourcing and taking that through to P... Read More
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 07:09
Guest — Philip Ideson
Thanks for commenting, Alun. I do think it is important to note that this is very nuanced approach that will not work for all com... Read More
Monday, 23 November 2015 23:28
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Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 10/26 – 10/30: Two Types of Outsourcing and a Look at Supplier Engagement

Best Procurement and Supply Chain Webinars 10/26 – 10/30: Two Types of Outsourcing and a Look at Supplier Engagement

This week may not be as busy as last week, but the topics are as diverse as the presenters. And since so many companies ran events last week, this week’s hosts and speakers offer a fresh diversity of perspectives on procurement topics. Remember that we are in daylight savings time season, so double check the starting time of each event in its host country as well as your own. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and to connect to their registration pages.

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Webinar Notes: The Raw Truth About Intelligent Automation

Webinar Notes: The Raw Truth About Intelligent Automation

These notes are based on attending an October 13th webinar hosted by HfS Research. The event can be viewed on demand here.

The panel included two HfS team members (Phil Fersht and Charles Sutherland) and two executives from Cognizant: Robert Hoyle Brown and Matt Smith. I listened to the event end to end twice – once live and once on demand. The topic of automation is fascinating and it was well covered and discussed in this webinar. My challenge was to figure out what this growing trend means for procurement.

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Webinar Notes: The End of Outsourcing? RPA is Here to Stay

Webinar Notes: The End of Outsourcing? RPA is Here to Stay

These notes are from an August 18th webinar by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA). The primary speakers were Barry Matthews Managing Director at Alsbridge, and Eric Shander, Vice President of Global Technology Services at IBM Global Services.

I’ve been covering all of the Robotis Process Automation (RPA) events based on IRPA’s recently released ebook meant to educate people about RPA. The most important things to know are that RPA is best suited to logic-based, repeatable tasks currently performed by in house employees or third party outsourcers. In some cases, robots can even provide governance or oversight of other robots. The other thing to know is that these aren’t mechanical robots – they are software robots: programs designed to handle tasks and learn over time.

The piece of this particular event that I found the most compelling was the potential for negative impact, or the ‘bad and ugly’ as they put it in the webinar. Let’s face it, as much as people decry the impact of offshoring, RPA’s cost structure and scalability raises a significantly larger concern about job loss. The honest truth is that RPA will have an effect on jobs, but it may not be quite what people think.

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Guest Post on Design News: Your Supplier is Not Your Friend

Guest Post on Design News: Your Supplier is Not Your Friend

Companies should never confuse a supply relationship with friendship. In fact, part of the role of any good provider is to challenge its clients in a productive way. Many times, companies outsource in order to transfer the majority of risk to suppliers.

In June, Design News hosted a webcast on product lifecycle management presented by team members at Sparton, a firm that handles the both design and manufacturing efforts for low/medium-volume, high-complexity components. Their presentation, “Why Product Lifecycle Management Is an Emerging Trend,” included all of the cost, timing, and supply chain implications of PLM.  

During the webcast, Sparton presenters spoke about the importance of building relationships with key suppliers. That emphasis makes sense because, in Sparton’s role as an outsourcing provider to manufacturing companies, the company sees advantages realized with those that they are able to partner with versus those that hold them at arm’s length or push back on project recommendations.

Good suppliers will bring their interests into alignment with those of their clients and make sure that the risks they are being asked to bear do not come back to bite their clients in the end. They understand that there are costs associated with each risk and, in order to service their customers efficiently, suppliers need to help them root out the causes of those risks.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST ON DESIGN NEWS

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Webinar Recommendations for June 29 – July 3, 2015: Outsourcing Health Checks, Risk Management, and eInvoicing

Webinar Recommendations for June 29 – July 3, 2015: Outsourcing Health Checks, Risk Management, and eInvoicing

This week is shortened for many companies in the US because of the July 4th holiday, but there is plenty going on in the first part of the week. I happen to think the three events taking place on Tuesday are the picks of the week. Click on the title of each event below to view the full description in our events calendar and connect to their registration pages.

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eBook Review: Introduction to Robotic Process Automation – A Primer

eBook Review: Introduction to Robotic Process Automation – A Primer

On June 5th, I covered a webinar on Robotic Process Automation (see my notes here). At the time, they announced the planned release of an eBook on the topic. It is now available for free as a download after joining the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA) - which is also free - or on Amazon for $9.99.

Unless you are a hard-core Kindle user, I’d recommend the free download, but that’s just me. The eBook is 35 very readable PDF pages that make the case for RPA equally to audiences in IT, procurement, and service providers. The best thing about the eBook is the prevalence of discipline agnostic case studies. Although the basic RPA concept is not too complex, its application may seem a little abstract. The frequent examples in the eBook make the idea easy to embrace.

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Webinar Notes: A Primer on Robotic Process Automation

Webinar Notes: A Primer on Robotic Process Automation

“The bigger you are, the more likely you are to fail because of the change required in aggregate.” – Thomas Young, Founder and Managing Partner of RUMJog Enterprises

“This is real.” - Frank Casale, Founder of the Institute for Robotic Process Automation and the Outsourcing Institute

 

These webinar notes are from a May 28th event run by the Institute for Robotic Process Automation (IRPA), which was founded by the Outsourcing Institute’s Frank Casale. Casale was joined in the event by a panel of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) experts: Raheem Hasan (CMO, IRPA), Pat Geary (CMO, Blue Prism), and Thomas Young (Founder and Managing Partner, RUMJog Enterprises).

Recent Comments
Guest — Kelly Barner
For anyone that is interested, the webinar can be viewed on demand using this link: http://www.irpanetwork.com/webinar-an-introduc... Read More
Friday, 05 June 2015 15:07
Guest — Jack
The new age of RPA (robotic process automation) which can transform the running cost and the overall operation of a business is as... Read More
Friday, 06 May 2016 09:00
Guest — Kelly Barner
Hi Jack,Thank you for sharing your experiences! RPA is such a new topic that most people are just starting to find their way. Woul... Read More
Friday, 06 May 2016 09:04
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